There are few things in life as amazing as the feeling you get after a *stellar* spin class, the kind that leaves you sweaty, breathless, and smiling at the same time. If you've yet to experience this *endorphin-fueled* high, please get yourself to a bike stat - and, if you're in Colorado (or, have a Stryde Bike), head straight to High Ride Cycle.
A homegrown Denver-based spin studio, High Ride serves up high intensity cycling, strength training, and beat-based choreography - or, as they so simply put it, 'a dance party on a bike.' The studio was founded by wife-and-husband duo Megan and Scott Hanson, and within its first four years of existence, High Ride has not only created an incredibly engaged and energized community and opened two studios, but also continues to keep moving forward throughout COVID with incredible determination and spirit.
Since we more or less have a *crush* on High Ride, we were pretty stoked to have the chance to chat with co-founder and OXB Ambassador Megan, who not only runs the company but also teaches ass-kicking classes complete top notch playlists. We're in awe of Megan's passion, leadership, and spirit - both on and off the bike - and we couldn't think of anyone better to be our next 'Behind the Sweat' feature.
Keep reading below for Megan's interview and trust us when we say - you, too, will soon be hooked on that High Ride feeling.
TELL US MORE ABOUT HIGH RIDE AND HOW THE STUDIOS CAME TO BE?
Early 2017, our lives changed forever.
It started with a quick conversation. My sister, Lindsay, said, “You should open a cycling studio,” after her and I received our MadDog Spin certification. My passion for health and fitness and my entrepreneurial spirit drove me to say, “Yes, you’re right, I should”. Once I convinced Scott (my husband) this was a great idea, we developed a dream to bring a dance party on a bike to Denver. At the time, there were no cycling studios in Denver that were doing what I wanted to do – create a beat-based ride in a club-like experience with loud music and fun lighting that incorporated side to sides, tap backs, push-ups, and other movements on the bike. From the second I had this crazy idea, Scott supported and believed in me 100%. There was no looking back; we were full steam ahead.
We found the perfect location, maxed out all our credit cards, took a lien on our house, asked all our friends and family to help us lay floors and paint (to save money), and officially opened our doors in July of 2017 having no clue what we were doing. We wouldn’t change a thing. It has not been an easy ride, but it’s been so worth it.
We’ve been through a lawsuit with our original landlords, a relocation to a new studio home within the first year of our business, the opening of a second location right before a pandemic, and shutdowns and setbacks that feel like they went on forever. This team and our community is determined and we won’t let that stop us.
IT GOES UNSAID THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS BROUGHT ON NUMEROUS CHALLENGES FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM. HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO RALLY YOUR TEAM (AND YOURSELF) TO KEEP UP WITH THE CONSTANT CHANGES? WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AFTER 2020 (AND A LOT OF 2021)?
The High Ride team and community are amazing. There were days I felt I couldn’t get out of bed and the anxiety and depression were crippling. Our team stepped up and rallied behind us. We had to consistently pivot and adjust then readjust our plans. They were there every step of the way to keep fighting because giving up was never an option. We did everything we could to survive and keep people happy and healthy. We rented out all of our bikes, transitioned to online classes as quickly as possible, and filmed 10-15 videos per week to keep people riding. Rider’s and team member’s mental health was very important to our team especially during a time like this.
I’m so proud of our team showing up for our riders but also for each other to keep people moving and keep people connected.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAVE BEEN THE KEY COMPONENTS TO THE (CONTINUED) SUCCESS OF HIGH RIDE?
Hands down our team has been the most important component to the success of High Ride. I believe you can teach almost anyone technique, but you can’t teach passion and personality. Our team shows up for each other, for our community of amazing riders, and for us each and every day and we could not run this business without them. They are amazing humans that have determination, grit, and show up in this world with passion. I’m so grateful for each and everyone one of them.
WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON FOR HIGH RIDE?
The pandemic has really challenged us financially and emotionally. We’re looking to rebuild and recover from the setbacks before we continue to expand. We’d love to open additional locations locally when the time is right. We’re also looking to continue to build our partnership with Stryde Bike so we can bring the High Ride to more riders nationwide.
WHAT DOES A DAY IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?
Every day is so different since we don’t have a traditional 9-5 at High Ride. I usually ride or teach at least 1-2 times per day, film online content 1-2 times per week for Stryde, respond to emails and put in some computer work, connect with team members or partners through Zoom or in person, and spend time at either our Sloan’s Lake or Northglenn location. I like to spend my free time recharging with some trashy reality television or spend some time with friends and family trying out a new, delicious restaurant.
WHAT ARE YOUR PREFERRED WORKOUT CLOTHING BRANDS?
My all time favorite is lululemon, but I love Beyond Yoga, DYI and Beach Riot!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRE- AND POST-WORKOUT SNACKS?
I love Alani energy drinks to give me the energy I need before teaching (especially those early morning classes). I usually eat a Larabar before or after class since they give me enough fuel but don’t upset my stomach or make me feel too full when teaching or riding.
HOW DO YOU SHOW YOURSELF SELF CARE?
I am not the best at relaxing and recovering and it is definitely something I am working on. I am an extreme extrovert and always over commit myself so I usually spend my free time with friends and family which helps me recharge. I do love a good VitalYou bath bomb with a glass of wine, a great trashy reality tv show, or spending some time on the water paddle boarding.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE OXB PIECE TO SWEAT IN?
I am really obsessed with the stack I’m wearing right now - the Mia Necklace engraved with an “M” and the Billie Chain!
WHAT'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS (BIG OR SMALL!) YOU'VE LEARNED FROM PLAYING SPORTS, BEING A PART OF A TEAM, OR YOUR OWN PERSONAL FITNESS JOURNEY?
Being a team player is one of our core values at High Ride. I learned at an early age as a swimmer and a dancer that you can’t just show up for yourself. You have to show up for everyone on the team in order to succeed. I believe that is equally (if not more important) at High Ride as well. Our team lifts each other up, supports each other, and shows up for each other. We don’t believe in competition. There’s no room for it at High Ride. We have created such a collaborative, team-oriented culture at High Ride and it makes us all stronger for it.